Defence Commercial Graduate Programme

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If you’re considering a career in Procurement and Contract Management, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) offers a challenging opportunity like no other. The portfolio of MOD’s business is unique. We acquire and support an extensive range of equipment, services and infrastructure to support the Armed Forces; from food ration packs, army boots, and military accommodation facilities, to aircraft carriers and helicopters, and everything in between. And it doesn’t stop there.

Much of the equipment we purchase isn’t 'off-the-shelf', so an essential part of the job is negotiating the details of the contracts we place, agreeing the terms of delivery, and managing the equipment into service and beyond. This unique mix of Procurement and Contract Management makes up the MOD’s Commercial Function and we are seeking the next intake for our Defence Commercial Graduate Programme (DCGP).

Job Description
The DCGP is a two-year structured development Programme which aims to develop graduates into high calibre professional commercial officers with the ability to manage the MOD’s innovative and demanding commercial business activities. It is owned by the Chief Commercial Officer residing in Head Office and Corporate Services (HOCS) and is centrally governed by the DCGP Management Team.

Upon joining the DCGP you will be sponsored by a specific Business Area for the duration of the Programme, and line managed by a dedicated Sponsor Line Manager within that Business Area. Your first and last placements will be at your permanent duty station within your Sponsored Business Area, and at least one other placement will be within another Business Area, which may be based in a different geographical location, and possibly overseas. You will regrade from the Programme to a post within your Sponsored Business Area at your Permanent Duty Station

During your time on the Programme, you will undertake work placements of varying lengths. You will initially undertake 2 x 6 months' placements in the first year, to give you immediate hands-on experience of the fundamentals of contract drafting and placement, Terms & Conditions and the tendering process. In the second year, there is more flexibility, and placements will be between 3 to 6 months' duration to aid development of the full set of the required behaviours, whilst delivering specific outputs for individual teams.

Day-to-day, placements will provide you with the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the procurement and contract management activities undertaken by the commercial officer role. You will be provided with real experience in:

  • Developing appropriate contracting methods and strategies
  • Agreeing and evaluating tenders against specifications
  • Negotiating with Industry, including pricing and payment considerations
  • European Union Procurement and Intellectual Property Law
  • Supplier relations and contract management
  • Risk mitigation and management

Upon joining, you will complete induction training and embark on your CIPS and MOD specific training. You will receive on-going support throughout the programme from your Sponsor Line Manager, the DCGP Management Team, experienced Mentors, and past and present programme members.

At the end of the Programme, provided you have achieved the standards expected, you will be offered the opportunity to move into a middle management professional role within your Sponsor Business Area’s commercial function. Beyond this, you will be supported during the next phase of your career as you aim towards roles in the commercial senior leadership team.


We are seeking individuals who

  • Enjoy solving complex problems and can deliver clear and effective solutions
  • Have high standards of written and verbal communication
  • Are keen on embracing change
  • Are willing to share information, knowledge and skills
  • Have a strong focus on meeting customer requirements in our support to the Armed Forces
  • Can understand the bigger picture whilst dealing with the essential detail
  • Are keen to seek out new opportunities for learning, self-development and career development
  • Are prepared to commit to a 2-year fast paced and intensive development programme

If applying on a part-time basis, please be aware that there are substantial study and training commitments whilst on the programme.

Candidates must have a 2:2 degree or be predicted to achieve a 2:2 degree, by July 2020. Applications from candidates with degrees in or related to the following subjects are particularly encouraged: Law; Business Management; Business Studies; Procurement; Logistics/Supply Chain Management; English; History; Maths. This list is not exhaustive and other similar degrees will be considered.


Ministry of Defence (MOD)

The Ministry of Defence is the British government department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.

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